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Owie. My elbow.
Old 08-20-2007, 10:31 AM   #1
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Owie. My elbow.

I spent Friday and Saturday pruning tree and pulling weeds. I used a big lopper for the trees and what I couldn't get with the lopper I used a sawsall.

My elbow is killing me. I tried Ibuprofen with little effect. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:52 AM   #2
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My elbow is killing me. I tried Ibuprofen with little effect. Any suggestions?
Try this: hold out your affected arm, palm down. Now raise your hand up as if you were going to top traffic, but with your other hand, push down on the back of your hand, resisting your effort to extend the wrist. Don't move your elbow while doing, this, just the wrist.

If your elbow owie gets worse while you try to extend the affected-side wrist against resistance, the pain may be epicondylitis of the elbow (tennis elbow or, in your case, gardners' elbow).

The trick here in that case is to splint the wrist, not the elbow. That, plus ice to the elbow, rest, and ibuprofen and you've got it covered most of the time. I end up injecting the rest with a drop of steroids after a week or two if not any better.

Here's an excerpt from a patient handout from Up to Date online:

Patient information: Elbow tendonitis (tennis and golf elbow)
Robert P Sheon, MD
...
INTRODUCTION Tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Repetitive activities and overuse can injure tendons and lead to inflammation, pain, and impaired function. This is called tendonitis. Although the most common cause of tendonitis is overuse, it can also be caused by other conditions including inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

Tendonitis is a common problem. The risk of getting tendonitis increases with age and is higher in people who routinely perform activities that require repetitive movement that increase stress on susceptible tendons. Treatment focuses on resting the injured tendon to allow healing, decreasing inflammation, and promoting muscle strength. In most patients, tendonitis readily resolves with treatment. In some cases, it goes away without treatment.

Tendonitis can affect many different tendons in the body. A separate topic review is available that discusses other types of tendonitis....

Epicondylitis The elbow is formed by two forearm bones (the radius and ulna) and the upper arm bone (the humerus). It is capable of moving in only two directions, bending (flexing) and straightening (extending). Movement of the elbow also affects the wrist; conditions affecting the elbow often cause problems at the wrist, and vice versa.
There are four major muscle/tendon groups that are important to the elbow: the biceps (in front); the triceps (in back); the muscles that help the wrist and fingers to extend up (on the outside or laterally); and the muscles that help the wrist and fingers to flex down (on the inside or medially).

Tendonitis (irritation and inflammation of the tendon tissue) is the most common condition affecting the elbow. It is frequently referred to as "tennis elbow" when there is an injury to the outer tendon and "golfer's elbow" when there is an injury to the inner tendon. However, elbow tendonitis may be caused by a variety of sports or work-related activities that involve heavy use of the wrist and forearm muscles....

SYMPTOMS Epicondylitis most often affects the dominant arm (eg, the right arm in people who are right-handed). A person may feel localized elbow pain that radiates into the upper arm or down to the forearm. Pain may cause weakness of the forearm. Symptoms of epicondylitis may occur suddenly or can develop gradually over time. Once they appear, symptoms are often persistent, although pain may come and go in some people

DIAGNOSIS The diagnosis of epicondylitis is usually based upon an examination and symptoms of pain over the affected epicondyle. Sometimes, an anesthetic-injection test is performed to confirm the diagnosis. In this test, an anesthetic is injected into the affected area. Epicondylitis is confirmed if the pain is temporarily relieved.

TREATMENT
Pain relief A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (eg, ibuprofen or naproxen) can help to reduce inflammation when taken on a schedule around the clock for three to four weeks ...

Ice The elbow joint and its supporting tendons are located just under the surface of the skin. Thus, local application of ice for 10 to 15 minutes, three to four times per day is very effective in controlling pain and inflammation. An iced towel wrapped around the elbow, blue ice packs, or an ice bag can all be used.

Immobilization Wrist and hand movement tends to aggravate symptoms, and some patients find that immobilization with a wrist splint that has a metal stay extending up the forearm reduces symptoms. Immobilization is generally required for three to four weeks but may be necessary for a longer time in patients with severe symptoms. If symptoms persist, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be discontinued and other measures considered.

Flexibility exercises Exercises can help to restore the strength and tone of the affected muscles and prevent recurrences. Exercises are usually started three to four weeks after elbow pain has resolved. The exercises are continued for up to 6 to 12 months in patients with recurrent tendonitis.

Tennis Elbow Stand at arm's length away from a wall, with the affected arm closest to the wall. Place the back of the hand against the wall with the fingers pointing down. Apply gentle pressure to the hand to stretch the forearm muscles. Hold for 30 seconds; repeat 3 times. Perform this stretch daily...

Strengthening exercises Specific muscle strengthening exercises can usually begin two to three weeks after the initial pain of tendonitis has decreased. Strengthening the surrounding muscles helps to support the elbow and wrist tendons and reduces the risk of recurrent tendonitis.
...

Tennis elbow People with tennis elbow should perform 'eccentric' extension exercises. A mild amount of discomfort is expected with these exercises. If the pain becomes sharp or more than moderate, stop the exercise and rest for two to three days. Restart with a lighter weight or less repetitions.
Sit with the arm supported (on a table) at elbow height. The back of the hand should face the ceiling and the hand should hang off the table. Hold a one pound weight in the hand, and lift the hand with the weight upward with the unaffected hand (DO NOT use the hand with the weight to do the lift).
Once the wrist is extended up toward the ceiling as far as comfortable, slowly allow the hand to drop...Repeat for a total of 3 sets of 15 repetitions with 1 minute rest between. Perform five times per week. After performing for one week, increase the weight by 1 to 2 pounds per week. Do not increase the weight unless the fifteen repetitions can be completed....

Most people respond well to treatment. Pain at rest is often relieved after a few days of treatment, although patients may experience pain with arm use for up to 6 to 12 weeks. A small number of patients may need long-term physical therapy toning exercises and restrictions on use of the forearm. In patients with persistent symptoms, a diagnostic work-up to rule out other conditions may be considered. Surgery is rarely indicated, unless symptoms have persisted for one year or longer.

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Old 08-20-2007, 11:01 AM   #3
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Owie Owie.

Looks like gardener's elbow. Thanks.
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:09 PM   #4
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The trick here in that case is to splint the wrist, not the elbow. That, plus ice to the elbow, rest, and ibuprofen and you've got it covered most of the time.
I can attest to what Rich says. I had that a few years back, and hurt like heck! One day we were having a new fence installed, and one of the guys had a brace on his lower forearm/wrist area. I asked about it, and he told me the same as what Rich said. I followed his advice, and everything finally got back to normal in a relatively short period of time! NO more pain!
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Martha View Post
I spent Friday and Saturday pruning tree and pulling weeds. I used a big lopper for the trees and what I couldn't get with the lopper I used a sawsall.

My elbow is killing me. I tried Ibuprofen with little effect. Any suggestions?
Greg!! He's had plenty of practice sawing rolls of paper towels in half...
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Old 08-20-2007, 02:21 PM   #6
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If I remember it was toilet paper not paper towels. (heh)
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:19 PM   #7
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Man, is this a great board, or what?
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:51 PM   #8
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Any suggestions?
Hire a gardener sorry...
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:55 AM   #9
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Did the ice and using DH's carpal tunnel brace on my hand. It makes a world of a difference but it is hard to type.

I have this problem of attacking all projects as if they must be done now, completely, and will easily overwork myself. Greg pruned the bigger stuff and I kept on and on weeding and pruning until it was all done in two days. He came outside a few times to say "stop it!". I guess he was right.

HFWR, for the first time in ages we have a full roll of paper towels on the holder. shhhhh!
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:15 AM   #10
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Did the ice and using DH's carpal tunnel brace on my hand. It makes a world of a difference...
I didn't say anything yesterday when you posted about your "owie", but Rich's advice was very timely for me as well. Seems I have the same ailment, only mine came about gradually and reached a peak yesterday AM as I was using a gas weedeater for a couple of hours to chase off rattlesnakes around the house. My arm was killing me as I sat down to check out the forum and, lo and behold, there was your post and Rich's response!

I tried to use DW's carpal tunnel brace as well, but it's too small. I removed the metal splint and used two Ace bandages to strap it to my wrist. Like you, I'm much better today.

Ooops. Maybe I shouldn't post this since Rich may think he should bill us for his "seek the advice of your own physician disclaimer" diagnosis and treatment plan.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:57 AM   #11
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Were you really chasing off rattlesnakes around the house? How does that work? After the Texas thread I am not sure anymore when you are joshing us.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:29 AM   #12
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Were you really chasing off rattlesnakes around the house?
Well, sorta. If I don't keep the brush knocked down in all these rocks around the house, it's impossible to see what you, your grandkids or your dogs might step on. That's a surprise I can do without. And there seems to be no shortage of them since we manage to see several each year either in the yard or crossing neighborhood roads.

In spite of growing negative publicity, some folks out here are continuing to try to thin out the rattler population. The Sweetwater Annual Rattlesnake RoundUp is the best known excuse to party effort to control Western Diamondback numbers. If you check out the stats page you will see they rounded up 6.5 tons of them last Spring. (Greg will probably get a kick out of that website )

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...I am not sure anymore when you are joshing us.
Who, moi?
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:31 AM   #13
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Ooops. Maybe I shouldn't post this since Rich may think he should bill us for his "seek the advice of your own physician disclaimer" diagnosis and treatment plan.
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Re: Bill for medical services

INVOICE

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5/20/07 Brilliant long distance $500....$0..$500.00
........cyberdiagnosis and
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Payable in full NOW. Paypal accepted with a 15% surcharge.
And I mean NOW. Cash discount 1%. Volume discount if Martha
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Interest on unpaid balance starting NOW: 8% per month.

Your insurance company has not been billed. That is your
problem not mine. I hate insurance. Medicare? Tough, pay NOW.

I am not responsible.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:41 AM   #14
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Rich, check's in the mail...
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:12 AM   #15
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Rich, check's in the mail...
Just like real life...

Oh... did I mention that wearing a wrist splint for more than 12 hours causes ED? There is a cure, though: you just...

Oops - gotta run - mailman here. I'll get back to you shortly.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:16 AM   #16
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Oh... did I mention that wearing a wrist splint for more than 12 hours causes ED? There is a cure, though: you just...
...relocate the splint?
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:25 AM   #17
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...relocate the splint?


I think we've made our contributions for the day .
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:32 PM   #18
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Rich, check's in the mail...
Given the state of the postal services in your area, I'd say the chances of that check ever reaching Rich is not so good...
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:52 PM   #19
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Given the state of the postal services in your area, I'd say the chances of that check ever reaching Rich is not so good...
It might be that, or it might be Wahoo massaging the ED afflicted area while saying "Yeah - I got your check right here baby!"

He knows he is safe as long as he is surrounded by his army of rattlers! Unless they're all little baby ones, like this family pet in Amarillo:

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Old 08-21-2007, 06:07 PM   #20
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Yeah, occasionally I have to wade in and thin 'em out...

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